In my mind’s eye I can see the disabled grandmother, hands stiff with arthritis, splitting wood to provide for her little family’s warmth. She and her two grade-school granddaughters live hand to mouth on her monthly Social Security check of $532. From this picture, I come to see how our nation’s deflationary spiral exerts a gravitational pull on human emotion. First, it shrinks my radius of loyalty from global to local events. Emotional gravity looks like the difference between interstate driving and strolling past another on a sidewalk. Second, civility’s come back in style. Less Internet bidding in favor of a few judicious purchases from local shops and some conversational exchange. Next, I queue at the public library for dusty self-sufficiency books. Others are affected too. Even busy medical professionals are asking for a starter from my earthworm farm for next year’s tomato garden. A diet for a small planet takes on a renewed relevance. Meat is out. Buying bulk beans is in. Unemployed, I must stretch my food dollars for the grandmother’s little family. We adopted this family for the holidays and they will need a wood delivery soon in addition to bedding, birthday candles and soap. They need joy and hope too and this I can spare.
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